by Joan Allison (she/her)
The St. Jude-led community coalition aims to achieve zero HIV transmissions by 2030.
With leading centers for children’s cancer research, organ transplantation, and stroke and cardiac centers, Memphis is a leader in the nation’s healthcare network. Strikingly, the city is also the leader in another way. Memphis is 4th in the nation for HIV transmission.
To address these alarming rates of HIV and root cause contributors, in 2017, an active network of HIV prevention and care providers—including the local health department, HIV service organizations, community- and faith-based organizations, clinicians, people with HIV (PWH), and Federally Qualified Health Centers, collaborated to align resources and activities with the common goal of optimizing HIV prevention and treatment in a more streamlined and harmonious fashion.
With additional resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these local partners, known as Connect to Protect (C2P) Memphis Coalition — a St. Jude Children’s Research staff led organization — connected with other stakeholders, priority populations (e.g., sexual minority youth, masculine- presenting women, transgender individuals), and planning bodies (e.g., Headliners Youth Community Advisory Board, Ryan White HIV/AIDS Planning Council) to build out a community-driven plan to end HIV in Memphis.
Together, the agencies defined key objectives to create a strategic plan that will use a wide-ranging approach to achieve zero new HIV infections by the year 2030. The initiative/ campaign, now called End HIV 901 (which is part of the nationwide Ending the HIV Epidemic plan, or EHE) has four pillars: Diagnose, Treat, Prevent, and Respond. These aim to Reduce the number of HIV transmissions, increase accessibility to care, and help prevent future spread of HIV in Memphis and Shelby County.
Group leaders from the St. Jude team chose Memphis marketing agency Ray Rico Freelance (RRF) to implement their comprehensive strategy. At the center is a website hub, both in English and Spanish to reach all affected communities, created with RRF professional partner New Urban Media, that provides users with access to resources and care providers. Within the website is a dashboard that will track metrics for the group’s long- term goals.
RRF also designed and implemented a complimentary social media campaign strategy. The social media campaign connects casual viewers with friendly imagery and links that connect directly to more information and healthcare providers. Channels include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. All posts will be tracked to provide further analytics into the success of the social media campaigns so that the End HIV 901 stakeholders can refine messaging efforts.
For stakeholders interested in a deep dive into program information, the RRF team produced a digital publication loaded with program information and statistics packaged as a go-to reference in a downloadable pdf format. Information includes the long-term plan and its identified goals; an extensive look at the target populations such as persons with HIV, and ‘gatekeepers,’ or persons identified in the community to help funnel information to the HIV-affected cohorts; and metrics, funding sources and outcome goals.
This project is one where RRF used its experience to help extend reach to the Latinx community and LGBT+ populations. “During the planning bidding and planning process for the initiative, ”Rico said, “our agency brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table when it came to reaching underserved populations including the Latinx and LGBT communities. Through our work and collaborations, we have proven to be very efficient and effective. Our team is excited to bring this level of pride not only to our agency but the city of Memphis. We are proving to other cities who are also rolling out similar initiatives surrounding Ending the HIV Epidemic just how innovative Memphis truly is.”
Learn more about Ray Rico Freelance https://rayricofreelance.com/
For more information about End HIV 901, visit the website at https://endhiv901.org/
Por más información de End HIV 901, en español, visita https://es.endhiv901.org/
For a list of the program’s stakeholders, https://endhiv901.org/coalition-partners/
To review the End HIV 901 strategy, https://endhiv901.org/strategy/